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Jack Priestley’s Family History

This site is a work-in-progress. There is a massive amount to cover. I have included both male and female lines. Keep coming back for more.
I have numbered the generations working backwards from Jack’s as (1)

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HENRY CLAYTON. Henry was of the Castle Parish of Clitheroe when he married. His baptism, however, has not been found there. Nor has it in Whalley, the village where he married.  He did not raise his family in either of these.

It is most likely that he was the Henry Clayton who was born in Burnley Wood, which lies within Habergham Eaves. This is where he brought up his family and where his wife Elizabeth came from at the time of their marriage.

Baptism. St Peter, Burnley
1709/10  Henry son of Henry Clayton of Burnley Wood

Henry’s mother was Susan Scolefield.

Henry was the eighth of ten children, one of whom had died before Henry was born.

His father had begun his working life as a blacksmith, but 14 years before Henry was born, the older Henry built Hufling Hall in Burnley Wood, which, as its name suggests, was a wooded area south of Burnley town. The house stood on a hill, near a hamlet of weavers, who worked on handlooms in the days before the Industrial Revolution. His parents owned a considerable amount of land around Hufling Hall, possibly brought to the marriage by Henry’s mother Susan.

Henry the older became a yeoman farmer. Henry the younger grew up in quite a well-to-do family,

When Henry was nine, his parents made over Hufling Hall and 21 acres of land for the upkeep of the curate of St Peter’s, Burnley.

By 1727 the Claytons had moved to Pendle Hall. This is to the west of Burnley and north of the smaller town of Padiham. To the north of it stands the iconic bulk of Pendle Hill/

Pendle Hall[1]

At some point, the younger Henry moved to work in the town of Clitheroe, further north/ He was there long enough for it to become his parish of settlement. But he married a bride from his birthplace of Habergham Eaves, which includes Burnley Wood.

We have not found what work he did.


ELIZABETH HARGREAVES. We should expect a birth date for Elizabeth around 1706.

She married in the village of Whalley, 7 miles west of Burnley, but gave her abode as Habergham Eaves. Probably, like Henry, she had left her home to work there, but in her case she had not been there long enough for it to become her parish of settlement.

Everyone had to have a designated parish, so that, if they fell on hard times, the Overseers of the Poor for that parish could take responsibility for their maintenance.

At the time, Habergham Eaves did not have its own church. Residents used St Peter’s in Burnley. There is a baptism there in 1707 for Elizabeth, daughter of Joseph Hargreaves, but this child died aged 8.

The most likely baptism for her is in neighbouring Padiham.

Baptism. St Leonard, Padiham.
1706 Apr 14  Elizabeth daughter of John Hargreaves, Pendle, Shoemaker.

The early baptismal registers do not give the mother’s name. Elizabeth’s mother may well be Elizabeth Ingham of Barrowford, who married John Hargreaves of Pendle in 1700. James Ingham was a witness at the marriage of Henry and Elizabeth’s daughter Alice.

Alternatively, she may be Agnes Howarth, who married John Hargreaves in Padiham in 1697. The other witness at Alice’s wedding was John Howarth.

Their residence of Pendle matches the move of Henry’s family to Pendle Hall some years later.

Elizabeth was the third of six children baptised in Padiham whose abode was Pendle.

At some point, either alone or with her family, she moved to Habergham Eaves, and lived there for at least a year, so that it became her parish of settlement. Since she married in Whalley, it appears that she moved on to work there for a shorter time.


Marriage. St Mary and All Saints, Whalley.
1731 Feb 21  Henry Clayton of Castle Parish of Clitheroe and Elizabeth Hargreaves of Habersham Eaves.

“Habersham” is a misspelling of Habergham.

There are no baptisms for children of this couple in Clitheroe or Whalley. There are, however, a number in Burnley, where their abode is given as Habergham Eaves.

Baptisms. St Peter, Burnley.
1732/3  John
The first John evidently died, though we have not found his burial.
1734 Sep 8  John
1736/7 Mar 3  Mary, daughter of Henry Clayton ye Younger
1739 Sep 16  Henry
There must have been an older Alice, since Alice, daughter of Henry Clayton of Habergham Eaves was buried at St Peter, Burnley on 14 Apr 1743.
1745 Apr 15  Alice

Both Henry’s parents died in 1751. His father left a very short will leaving everything to Henry’s mother. We would have expected bequests to his children. It may be that he had already made them substantial gifts, perhaps when they married.

A month later, his mother too died. Her will left £30 to a granddaughter and everything else to the eldest son Leonard. Not surprisingly, Henry’s siblings disputed this will. Susan Clayton had suffered a “dumb palsy” (probably a stroke) on the day the will was dated. They claimed she was unable to make or sign a will and that it had been fabricated by Leonard, who had bribed people to act as witnesses. One of these was his son-in-law. Henry’s next eldest siblings, Richard and Alice, brought the case to court. Witnesses testified that Susan expressed her wishes before her illness, and had recovered sufficiently to agree that the will reflected these and to make her mark and seal.

Sadly, we do not have a record of the verdict. There is some indication that Leonard won the case and was granted probate.

Since neither of their parents’ wills mentions the younger siblings, it may be that there had been a falling out.


We have not found a burial for Elizabeth Clayton.

There is a burial for Henry Clayton at St Peter’s in 1766.

Burial. St Peter, Burnley.
1766 Dec 29  Henry Clayton. Abode: Habergham Eaves.

This may be Elizabeth’s husband, or it could be their son, whose wife Alice died earlier that month,


[1] Geograph. Alexander P Knapp



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